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Private Residential Tenancies

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From the 1st December 2017 the majority of residential tenancies created in Scotland will be PRTs or Private Residential Tenancies.  At the moment the most common type of lease is the SAT or Short Assured Tenancy and there are a few important changes.

  • At the moment a SAT has to be for a minimum of 6 months.  There will no longer be a fixed term, agreements will be open ended.
  • A landlord must have grounds to serve notice, there are 18 different grounds and these include options for selling, refurbishment or if a tenant has broken part of the lease agreement, if there are arrears, etc.  It will not longer be possible for a landlord to serve notice at the end of the term or for no reason.
  • Rents can be increased on an annual basis and landlords must give tenants at least 3 months’ notice.
  • Local authorities can apply to Scottish Ministers to cap the levels of rent increases in areas where they feel rents are rising too much.
  • Both parties will access to the First Tier Tribunal for disputes arising during the tenancy.

This is a quick overview of the key changes, contact us if you would like a full guide on the new tenancy agreement and any changes which could affect you.

It will be interesting to see what effect this has on the rental market.  It feels very similar to the assured tenancy scheme which never really took off.  A lot of landlords are nervous about how easy it will be to regain possession, though tenants are reassured by the extra security and rent control measures.  Rents have gone up in some parts of Edinburgh by 30% in the last 3 years.

Letting can very seasonal, with summer being the peak time of the year, one of the benefits of the new style of lease may be that this becomes less so.

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